Construction’s not finished, but that won’t stop this party in the Gables

A view of work being done around 'Giralda Plaza' on Giralda Avenue off Ponce de Leon Boulevard. Roberto Koltun

Work on the Miracle Mile streetscape project is progressing and will still take several months to finish, but enough work has been completed on Giralda Avenue that the city has introduced a new weekly outdoor dining event called Giralda Al Fresco to signal the progress on the street.

The event kicked off earlier this month and will run every Saturday until the streetscape work is done on Giralda. The event will feature different entertainment and run all night on the 100 block of Giralda. Multiple restaurants are participating including La Dorada, Talavera, Bangkok Bangkok II and others.

City commissioners approved outdoor alcohol sales for the Giralda Al Fresco event last month.

Some merchants have already seen the benefits of the event and are hopeful that the new-look portion of the road will bring customers back to the “restaurant row” and recover profit that was lost during streetscape construction.

“It’s bittersweet because it does bring in more people but we’ve also had to hire a bunch more staff,” said Leslie Fernandez, a hostess at Talavera. “For the most part though it’s bringing in a lot of revenue and people are crazy about it.”

Some business owners said they had more than half a million dollars in lost business, and some shops have relocated or shut down due to the construction.

The event “is kind of a relief but it’s been so long. It’s been really hard because it’s been almost a year of the street being under construction,” said Lilly Gandara, events director for La Dorada.

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Read more here: http://hrld.us/2pMuS9g

If you go

When: Saturdays
Time: 8 p.m. to midnight
Where: Giralda Plaza, on the 100 block of Giralda’s Restaurant Row

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